United Kingdom

Seven countries added to green list in boost for holidays

Travel to India and the Gulf has been relaxed, along with changes to a series of European countries (Picture: AFP)

A raft of new countries have been added to the green travel list as of today.

Earlier this week, the government announced the status of several countries would be changing, with the new rules applying from the early hours of this morning.

Arrivals from Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway will now face the lowest level of restrictions.

Travellers to green list countries still need to provide a negative test before they return and on day two after they land, as well as having to submit contact details to health officials.

Entry requirements for green list countries still differ – for example, in Germany, quarantine-free travel is only extended to fully vaccinated arrivals from the UK.

India, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have all been moved off the red list and onto the less restrictive amber list.

That means anyone arriving to the UK from those countries who has been double-jabbed does not need to self-isolate for 10 days.

There’s some good news for tourists this week but some countries have had travel rules tightened (Pictures: Reuters)

France has also been stripped of the ‘amber-plus’ status that was imposed on the country last month.

Unlike other amber countries, people returning to the UK were told they must self-isolate regardless of whether or not they were vaccinated. 

The move was in response to fears over the amount of Beta variant-linked cases in France. 

Rates of the variant, which experts worry could evade the vaccine, are highest in the overseas territories of Mayotte and La Reunion, so both have been moved to the red list.

Georgia has also been moved over to the most restrictive list but the biggest change is Mexico.

The popular destination has had the toughest level of rules applied to it over fears the B.1.621 variant could be spreading in the country.

Brits were scrambling to get back to the UK before new rules came into force at 4am this morning (Picture: W8media)

Cases are rising and the new ‘variant under investigation’, which is believed to have started in Colombia, is known to be present in the country.

Numbers remain low but Public Health England officials are concerned about how quickly it has crossed borders and cropped up in countries around the world, including Spain.

There was a subtle change to the guidance for people travelling to Spain this week which could foreshadow a further tightening of rules down the line.

Arrivals from the popular tourist destination are ‘advised to use a PCR test as their pre-departure test wherever possible, as a precaution against the increased prevalence of the virus and variants in the country’.

The move is seemingly an effort to track the course of the new variant in Spain, which has reported the highest rates of any country in Europe and lags only behind Colombia and the US.

PCR tests can be sent to laboratories to be sequenced and checked for new variants, unlike the more rudimentary lateral flow tests.

There have been 37 confirmed cases of the new variant in England, compared with 258 in Spain.

In the travel list update announcement earlier this week, Spain stayed on the amber list but it came with the caveat that ‘UK clinicians and scientists will remain in close contact with their counterparts in Spain to keep abreast of the latest data and picture of cases in Spain’.

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